An Interesting Irony of Life

A few days ago, one of my friends sent me a joke related to an interesting irony of life. I thought that it was appropriate to share it here.

An old man entered a bar. After having two drinks, he stood up on his chair and roared “Who wanna hear a joke?”

Everyone replied “Why not? let’s see what you’ve got.”

The joke was very funny and everyone laughed. Some even farted while laughing. It was hilarious.

After 5 minutes again he stood and yelled, “Who wanna hear a joke?”

Everyone was expecting a funnier joke then before, but he repeated the same joke. This time, except for a few, again, everyone laughed.

Again, he stood up and repeated himself. This time only a few laughed.

Again he stood up, “Who—”

Someone from the crowd stood up and said “Just shut up, I know you’ll repeat yourself! Go home, you are drunk!”

Old man responds “What happened? You don’t want to laugh at my joke? It was hilarious when I first cracked it!”

“Oh! I guess you don’t like it, or is it irritating to hear the same thing again and again?”

“Yes!” the crowd responds.

“Then, my friends, if we don’t laugh at the same joke again, why do we cry or act sad at the same problems again and again?”

This is an interesting aspect of human psychology. Why do we want to repeatedly get sad over the same problems? Then, I thought it might be related to loss aversion. In psychology, loss aversion refers to our tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains (e.g., losing 40$ hurts more than gaining 40$). Some studies have suggested that losses to gains ratio is around two, i.e., the pain of losing 50$ is probably equivalent to the pleasure of gaining 100$.

Probably we are designed to keep our face slightly more inclined towards the negative side. Probably this is how life survived: ensuring an avoidance of loss meant more energy spent towards taking precautions as well as preemptive measures.

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